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A review of the iPhone 13 and 13 mini. Which one to choose and what’s important to know before you buy

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The iPhone 13 and 13 mini have finally gone on sale and come to us for tests, so now we’ll tell you
what’s new about them, and find out whether they’re worth buying or whether it’s better to spend
your money on last year’s models.

The changes start with the packaging. There are no more stickers on the boxes now, you have to peel
them off. Apple is so concerned about the environment. The new iPhones still don’t have a charging
unit or headphones – just a cable, paper clip and documents. All in the name of the environment.
What else has changed?

The first, and most important, is the battery. The battery capacity of the 13 mini has increased by 9%,
which is quite good for such a tiny thing, while the regular 13 has increased by a noticeable 15%. Add
to that a more energy efficient processor and you get up to two and a half extra hours in the regular
13, and up to a half in the Mini. The iPhone 12, in principle, already had a good battery life, but for
the Mini this is an extremely significant plus.

The second is the A15 Bionic processor. In this generation, Apple has redesigned it not so much, the
process technology remained the same – 5 nanometers, which means a lot of performance has not
increased. The updated 16-core neural network chip works in all the processes that involve machine
learning – photos, search, face, text and object recognition, heavy applications, video encoding. The
upgraded hardware will give you at least an extra couple of years of upgrades and faster
performance than previous models.

 

iPhone 13 Pro Max in Silver and iPhone 12 Pro Max in Pacific Blue. Manhattan, New York, USA October 9, 2021.

 

 

 

The third is the reduced fringes. It doesn’t give you any software advantages, the battery percentage
is still not displayed, you can’t unlock the phone horizontally and, let’s be honest, visually it’s not
much different. The speaker was moved to the top, the screen became a little bigger, and that’s all,
not a very noticeable improvement. Except that the 13 mini is a little more spacious.

Fourth, the screen. It is now 28 per cent brighter, but otherwise the same as in the previous
generation. 120 Hz is not available here.

Fifth is memory. The minimum memory for the new Trinas now starts at 128 gigabytes, which is
really enough for many people, unlike the previous 64. You can also get 256 and 512 gigabytes.

Sixth is matrix stabilisation in the main camera. For video it doesn’t give any significant advantages,
but for day and night photos it’s a useful thing that reduces blurring.

And the seventh is the cameras. They have been improved too. They enlarged the sensor and the
lenses themselves, so they no longer fit vertically in the block, they had to be placed diagonally.

The ultrashort is not as soapy as it was, gives you more details and turns on the night mode less
frequently. Actually, here’s a photo comparison between the 12 pro and the 13, it’s the best way to
demonstrate the improvements. And yes, it doesn’t matter that it’s a previous iPhone pro, it has the
same camera module as the regular one.

The main camera absorbs 47 per cent more light, according to Apple’s claims, thanks to a larger
sensor and a pixel size of 1.7 microns – the same as the 12 Pro Max, for example. Consequently,
photos are taken faster in night mode, the natural background blur is better, and more light reaches
the sensor, and photos in non-ideal light become better.

Plus to all these improvements, a little customisation has been added – photographic styles. Contrast,
bright, warm and cool, with saturation adjusted with the slider on the left and warmth adjusted with
the slider on the right. You adjust, save, and you can take all your photos any way you like in the
future.

It’s like using VSCO to apply your favorite filter, but much cooler because skin tones will always retain
their natural colour, and other objects won’t be over-saturated or in high contrast. Machine learning
works wonders and adjusts the picture better than any filter that mimics all colours and contrast,
producing the most unnatural image possible.

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